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National Assembly President Tsetska Tsacheva proposes conduct of a regional youth essay competition titled: “SEE the Southeast Europe in 2020”

The president of the National Assembly launched the idea to hold a regional youth essay competition titled: “SEE the Southeast Europe in 2020” at her meeting with the president of the Serbian parliament (Skupshtina) Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic. Tetska Tsacheva is on a visit to the Republic of Serbia as participant in the annual Meeting of  Women Speakers of European Parliaments.

The president of the National Assembly explained that the initiative should mark the 15th year since the beginning of the South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP), launched in Sofia back in 1996. Currently Serbia is presiding over the SEECP and the initiative suggested by Bulgaria’s chairwoman of parliament corresponds to the priorities set by the Serbian presidency, science and culture.

According to Tsetska Tsacheva the essay competition will present young people with an opportunity to write about their vision of the future in the region as part of the common European future. She proposes the results of the contest dedicated to the anniversary of SEECP and linked thematically to the 2020 Program of the European Union to be announced on the Day of Europe – May 9, 2012. The initiative is to be held in partnership with the parliaments of Southeast Europe. The parliaments will also serve as liaison with academic institutions and non governmental organizations in the region.

The essays are to be evaluated by an international jury composed of prominent intellectuals and public opinion leaders in the region. The contest is to be carried out through Internet and the evaluation is to be transparent and public. The materials of the participants will be published on a special website.

The National Assembly president suggested also to gather in Sofia the contest prize winners and transform the event in a special youth forum of Southeast Europe held regularly.

The participants in the Meeting decided further to write a letter to their colleagues in the parliaments of Southeast Europe to present the initiative and invite them to take part in its implementation.

The date of July 7, 2011 marked the 15th anniversary from the beginning of the South East European Co-operation Process. The annual Meeting of Women Speakers of Euroepan Parliaments will reach its 15th anniversary in October 2012.

During the Meeting the chair of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva and Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic agreed that in the last months the cooperation between the parliamentary committees of Bulgaria and Serbia has intensified, and has become more useful and efficient. Tsetska Tsacheva invited the deputies of the Serbian parliamentary Committee on European Integration to pay a visit to Bulgaria in order to acquaint themselves with their Bulgarian counterparts and their work. The parties shared the opinion that the Bulgarian experience in absorption of European funds could be of particular benefit to the Serbian side.

The key topics of discussion between the two leaders were the regional partnership and the development of the South East European Co-operation Process. The two presidents discussed also the priorities of the Serbian presidency in the Organization. Tsetska Tsacheva recalled the fact that Bulgaria is home of the Regional Secretariat for Parliamentary Cooperation in Southeast Europe.

The two heads of parliaments outlined the important fields of cooperation between Bulgaria and Serbia, in particular the fight against organized crime and the cooperation between the judicial and police authorities. They underscored the importance of the regional infrastructure projects. The overcoming of the economic crisis, the strengthening of the economic cooperation, the attraction of foreign investments and the ecology were other topics at the talks.

The informal club of  women speakers of European parliaments was initiated and presided by the head of the Austrian parliament Barbara Pramer. Last year Bulgaria was host of the event and following the proposal of Tsetska Tsacheva the number of participants was increased to include chairwomen of parliaments of other aspiring to EU membership countries.

The participants in the annual Meeting of Women Speakers of European Parliaments are scheduled to be received by the president of the Republic of Serbia Boris Tadich.

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